Paula Kerger, president and chief executive officer of PBS, the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization with 350 member stations throughout the country, received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree on May 20, 2016.
Under her leadership, PBS has been growing its audiences across genres and platforms. In the course of a year, 82 percent of all television households in America watch PBS, and over 70 percent of all children watch PBS. And online, in 2015, Americans viewed more than five billion videos across all PBS digital platforms.
Among recent PBS successes are the pop-culture phenomenon “Downton Abbey”; Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts”; the original American drama series “Mercy Street”; acclaimed children’s programs such as “Peg+Cat” and “Curious George”; and award-winning apps and online sites.
PBS has also developed PBS LearningMedia, which provides educators with digital resources for the classroom.
During Kerger’s tenure, PBS has launched critically praised online video sites for general audiences (pbs.org) and children (pbskids.org) and created new digital partnerships with numerous companies, including iTunes, YouTube, AppleTV, Microsoft’s Xbox, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Comcast’s On Demand service.
PBS has also created PBS Digital Studios, which produces high-quality original, award-winning content exclusively for digital platforms.
Kerger is regularly included in the Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” an annual survey of the nation’s top women executives in media.